Marhofn 196.11 - May 2009

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Hall of Shame: Corporate Desecration

Meall Mor (7, LR43)

Andy Hyams: This little hill west of Glen Isla received my vote for the worst Scottish mainland hill below 600m for its disgraceful condition when I was there in May 2008. The lower slopes of the north flank above Drumore Loch are forested and the fringes of the forest are devoted to pheasant rearing. I ascended outside the forest, following its eastern fence. There is an area of pheasant pens surrounded by electric fences and animal traps. Above the forest is a more extensive caged area and it is around here that the desecration is at its worst. There are multiple vehicle tracks with no thought of following a single line or minimising erosion. I have never seen so much plastic debris on a hill; feed bins, sacks, drinks bottles everywhere. The final irony came on my descent along the forest track (easier than following the fence) where there are notices requesting shooters to take their spent cartridges home. If anyone knows who owns this 'wee bit hill and glen', its condition should be drawn to their attention.

Hall of Shame: Excess Tree Density

Pen y Garn-goch (31C, LR147)

John Edwards: I parked at SN890501 in a large turning space and followed the wide track that zig-zags up through the forest. A grassy side branch I followed petered out (of course) and I ended up having to tip-toe across a maze of ice-glazed horizontal tree trunks five to nine feet above the forest floor, in a real fight to get to easier ground. So it's best to stay on the track, but when this is about 30 metres from the summit, there is nothing for it but to turn off and force your way between tightly packed young pine trees about 12 feet high, and head vaguely upwards until you emerge in a clearing around the trig and a tumulus. I circled this trying to see if there was an exit path in any direction but there wasn't, so I faced another blind stumbling fight through the interlocking branches to get back to the forest road. At present this is the worst Marilyn for trees south of the border I think.

Hall of Shame: Get Off My Land

Craig y Castell (30F, LR124)

Stewart Logan: I went to climb this hill from the car park at SH698153, but the farmer at Tyddyn-Evan fychan said that was not allowed because:

I politely took my leave and went round to the opposite side at Gellilwyd and climbed it via the marked path, although it was hard in the deep bracken higher up.

Lambrigg Fell (34D, LR97)

Andy Tomkins: There was a sign at the start of the right of way telling people to stay on the path to minimise disturbance to wildlife. Having bagged the hill, I was descending to the car when I came across the farmer. He wasn't very happy and said that walkers should keep to the path. I pointed out that it was an open access area and he did admit there is a right to roam, but he started going on about ground-nesting skylarks and curlews and the danger from the high-velocity rifles he uses to shoot 'vermin'. Presumably the right of way provides protection from stray bullets and the birds were nesting rather than preparing for winter (it was September). He wasn't unpleasant or aggressive and became quite chatty after making his point. However, I found his arguments dubious to say the least.

Mynydd Marchywel (32B, LR170)

Michael Earnshaw: The farmer (on the southern approach) said he had suffered damage to his walls and fences in the past. I tried not to be confrontational and agreed that such behaviour was not on, so after a bit more complaining from the farmer I was allowed to continue to the summit. Promising to be careful seemed to placate him. A better line slightly to the west avoided any trouble on the descent.

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